FAQ – How Do I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
California workers who are injured or become ill because of work have the right to receive workers compensation benefits. Unfortunately, many workers find that they lose their rights, are denied the benefits that they are entitled to, or learn they aren’t getting all of their workers’ compensation benefits.
As soon as a worker knows or suspects that they have a work related injury or illness, they should immediately report it to the employer. Within one day after the injury is reported, the employer must give the worker a claim form. Waiting to report an injury or illness can cause a delay or denial of workers’ compensation benefits.
After the worker completes and turns in a claim form, if an injury causes temporary disability, the first payment of temporary disability indemnity shall be made not later than 14 days after knowledge of the injury and disability. In the case of a dispute, the employer has the right to investigate the claim. If the claim is not denied within 90 days from the date the claim is filed, the injury is presumed compensatable.
The injured or ill worker should never be off of work without a written off work order from the treating doctor. It is important that the doctor advises the employer of the worker’s disability status.
A claim which is not filed until the worker has been notified that they are being terminated is not valid under California law unless it can be shown that, before the notice of termination, the injury had already been reported to the employer, or that there is evidence of the injury in the employee’s prior medical records.
In California, the injured or ill worker has the right to representation by an attorney. A specialist in the field of workers’ compensation law will guide a client through the maze of statutes and regulations that control the case. Consulting a workers’ compensation attorney costs nothing. If an attorney takes the case, the fee will generally be 9-12% of any settlement or award at the end of the case.
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Representing Injured Workers
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Los Angeles, CA 90017
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Making a false or fraudulent worker’s compensation claim is a felony subject to up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.